Rising Stars Competition 2020

Supporting the stars of tomorrow

Aston Lark is proud to announce the winners for the Rising Stars Awards 2020.


Aston Lark is proud to have launched the first Rising Stars competition in 2020, recognising four up-and-coming Funeral Directors across the country and rewarding them with dedicated training from Green Fuse Ltd – a prize worth over £2,500 per winner.

The Rising Stars competition was launched to recognise and support the development of new and promising Funeral Directors, providing training to these individuals which is designed to enhance and nurture the skills they have learned to date.

The category winners, selected by an independent judging panel, are as follows:

North: Amy Jolly, Doncaster Municipal Funerals
South: Joanne Hobdell, Hergest & Cavell Funeral Directors
Midlands: Joanne Ashcroft, Price and Son
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: Nicola Capaldi, Young’s Independent Funeral Services


The judges were impressed with the level of enthusiasm, care and passion that all the finalists showed and it is clear that the future of the profession is healthy with such talent coming through. Our thanks to each and every person who contributed to Rising Stars and our congratulations again to the winners. We wish you the very best with your training and we look forward to catching up with you on your progress in 2021.

We will be updating our social media with regular updates from the winners and we will continue to follow them throughout their training so stay tuned.

Amy Jolly

Amy Jolly - One of the 2020 Rising Stars Awards Winners

Aston Lark have recently announced our winners of the 2020 Rising Stars Awards. Over the coming weeks, we will cast the spotlight on each of our winners, sharing their stories with you. Our first winner is Amy Jolly on Doncaster Municipal Funerals, who won the North category.

Find out more

Tell me more about the training

The training provided by Green Fuse Ltd will be tailored specifically for our four winners. It will include:


  • Managing the funeral process and the identification of changing trends
  • Modern funeral arranging; arranging individual and complex funerals
  • Care of the body and mortuary management
  • Funeral conducting skills

Green Fuse was founded in 1999 by Simon Smith and Jane Morrell with a vision to align funerals with changing social trends and attitudes towards death. They developed a successful funeral directing company which became Heart & Soul Funerals. After writing the book ‘We Need to Talk About The Funeral’ they started training funeral celebrants in 2007 (Level 3 Diploma) and funeral directors in 2008, with around 800 students over the years. The training team includes Stephen Nimmo of Chester Pearce Associates, also a Bath University graduate, and Angie McLachlan.

As well as receiving training from Green Fuse, the four regional winners will be featured in the Funeral Service Journal and will receive mentoring from the head judge of their Region.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there an 18-month experience restriction on who can be nominated for the competition?

The Rising Stars concept has been designed to recognise new and promising individuals to the funeral professional and reward them with tailored training which will assist in their overall development and enhance their future careers.

Be it a young family member or an individual that has had a recent change of career, getting the support and training at this stage of their career with you can prove invaluable to them moving forward and will set them on the right path as they continue their journey into all aspects of funeral directing.

Where will the training be held?

Given the current situation, the training provided by Green Fuse will be online wherever possible via the use of the Zoom meeting conference centre. However, training on funeral conducting and mortuary management requires a face-to-face arrangement and will therefore require travel to Riverstone, 18 Dart Mills, Totnes Road, Buckfastleigh, TQ11 0NF in March 2021, subject to Government restrictions with Coronavirus.

Will my travel and accommodation expenses be met when travelling to the Riverstone training centre?

Aston Lark will agree to the contribution of reasonably and necessarily incurred charges for the travel and accommodation in the time you are required to attend the Riverstone Training Centre. Please retain all receipts for submission to Aston Lark at the conclusion of your training with Green Fuse. Full details of travel contributions can be found in the terms and conditions.

What dates are the training?

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all dates for the training have been scheduled for late March 2021 and mid-to-late April 2021. We would therefore ask that all nominees entering this competition are mindful of this training period. Firm dates will be announced nearer the time.

If you have any questions please contact us

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